Portage Borough will be the place to be for a sizzling good time in August.
Organizers of the 23rd annual Portage Area Summerfest will welcome visitors on Aug. 9-11
at Crichton McCormick Park, 100 Memorial Way.
Entertainment will include music, magicians, dancing, fireworks, antique and classic car show, parade, 5K race, golf tournament, games, food, pancake breakfast, clowns, puppets, petting zoo and more.
Duaine Detrick of Richland Township, committee member in charge of marketing, said organizers make every effort to add new and exciting things each year.
“It all boils down to providing a variety of wholesome family entertainment,” Detrick said. “All proceeds benefit Crichton McCormick Park.”
The entire event, including all of the entertainment and parking, is free to the public.
Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 9, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 10 and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 11.
The festival also features food vendors and craft booths.
Launching the event will be an adult dance on Aug. 10 with Flood City Brass performing from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Cassandra fire hall.
Tickets for the dance are $10 and may be purchased in advance by calling 736-0881. Tickets also will be available at the door.
A dance at the park at 7 p.m. on opening night will feature the rock sounds of One for the Road, a band that will make its first appearance at the festival.
Entertainment is nearly continuous during the festivities.
The Aug. 10 lineup includes a Christian musical drama, a magician, puppet show, children’s craft workshop, petting zoo and musical entertainment.
“We will welcome Tom Sadge, a nationally known entertainer who is a Neil Diamond impersonator,” Detrick said. “He will take the stage at 6 p.m.”
Children will again enjoy two days of entertainment presented by Ray Owen and his Great American Music and Classic Comedy Show.
Other Aug. 10 events include a Rotary Club 5K race at the football field at 8:30 a.m. Trophies will be awarded to winners in various categories.
Registration will begin at 7:30 and there will be a $20 registration fee, or $15 if registered before Aug. 1. To preregister, contact Tom Schettig at 886-7790 or a Rotary Club member.
A parade at 2 p.m. steps off on Main Street and disbands in the park.
The evening will conclude with a fireworks display by Starfire Corp. of Northern Cambria at 10 at the Portage Area High School football stadium.
On Aug. 11, Portage Area Cruisers Car Club will host a show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and expects to attract vintage cars and motorcycles, muscle cars and trucks.
“There will be a nominal entrance fee for the car show, and trophies and awards will be presented,” Detrick said.
Other events include children’s activities, inflatable rides and a bouncy.
“We also have two marksmen challenges with a laser tag and a paintball target feature,” Detrick said.
The Conniptions will per-form at 5:30 as the opening act for Johnny Angel and the
“We have never featured Johnny Angel before, and he is bringing his 10-piece oldies band, which is based in Pittsburgh,” Detrick said.
Anyone planning to visit Summerfest should bring an appetite, according to Dee George of Portage, chairwoman of the food committee and a founding member of the festival.
“We are able to be successful year after year because of the variety of quality food vendors we bring in,” George said. “We’ll have around 20 vendors who will be offering over 80 different varieties of food.”
George’s goal is to not duplicate food, and for the most part, it has proven a winning formula.
Several new vendors will offer tasty dishes, including a Tyrone vendor offering deep-fried meat pies.
“To the best of my knowledge, it will be one of the first times they have been around here,” George said. “I’ve never seen it at any of the festivals I have attended.”
A staple at the festival has been Royal Siam Catering of Alexandria, Va.
“They have been with us since 1990, when we did the centennial celebration,” George said. “They offer Chinese and Thai cooking at reasonable prices.”
George said vendors also will offer traditional festival favorites.
“The Knights of Columbus offer a hot sausage sandwich that are huge sellers,” she said. “We will have Mexican food as well as a big variety of ethnic foods.”
For ethnic food lovers, vendors will feature pierogi, stuffed cabbage, haluski and more.
“The key to good ethnic food is having the right seasonings, and we offer some of the best,” George said.
Portage Rotary Club will have a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. Aug. 11.
The women of Buckhorn Grange 1119 of Sidman will be returning to Summerfest to offer their ham potpie.
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